By Jerry Del Priore
Former New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young, known for setting the all-time MLB record for consecutive loses with 27, succumbed to brain cancer, the team announced Tuesday. Young was 51.
Back in January, the doctors diagnosed Young with an inoperable brain tumor. Early on Tuesday, former teammate Lenny Harris tweeted Young had slipped into a coma, and hours later, the Mets announced that he had passed away.
Young played six seasons in the majors—three with the Mets, two with the Chicago Cubs and one with the Houston Astros—and had a career ERA of 3.89, pretty respectable for the hard-luck hurler who will be remembered for dropping numerous ill-fated contests with suspect New York clubs.
The right-hander—who was drafted twice: first in 1984 by the Montreal Expos, and second by the Mets in 1987—posted a 15-48 record in 460 innings of work in 181 tilts.
Young’s 27-game losing streak—14 as a starter and 13 as a reliever—spanned two seasons with the Mets, from May 6, 1992 to July 24, 1993.
It’s not often that someone who sets an inauspicious losing record was beloved. But the Houston native was a New York fan favorite, and mine as well. Perhaps it was the way he handled the mark: with class and dignity, the same way he dealt with his cancer battle.
As a lifelong Mets fan, I will always remember Young’s infectious smile, even throughout the streak, especially since it must’ve been difficult for him to deal with all the media attention.
After hanging up his baseball spikes, Young went on to become a youth pitching coach in Houston. He continued provided pitching lessons while undergoing treatment for his brain tumor, according to Sports Illustrated.
Rest in Peace, Anthony Young. You will be missed.